Friday, October 3, 2014

Okra is served often in tagines of lamb, where it is a good accompaniment to tomatoes, quinces, small sweet apples, pears, zucchini, and a vegetable very similar to yellow squash called slaoui. One rarely finds okra served alone, though I have heard of a dish prepared in Fez made of pureed okra cooked with onions, green coriander, and parsley.

Working time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2½ to 3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 1½-inch chunks or 5 or 6 thick chops
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh green coriander (optional)
  • 1½ pounds fresh okra or 2 ten-ounce packages frozen whole okra
  • 6 red, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 eight-ounce can Italian tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped

  1. Lightly brown the lamb on all sides in the oil and butter. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the other spices. 
  3. Pour over enough water to almost cover the meat and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour. 
  5. Remove the cinnamon sticks. 
  6. Add the herbs and continue cooking the tagine 15 minutes. 
  7. Up to this point, the dish can be prepared in advance. 
  8. Forty minutes before serving, preheat oven to 350°. 
  9. Transfer the lamb to the shallow ovenproof dish. 
  10. By boiling rapidly, uncovered, reduce the sauce to 1 cup in the casserole. 
  11. Wash, top, and tail the okra. 
  12. Cut very large okra pods in half. 
  13. Put them in the saucepan and boil, with a few tablespoons sauce, salt, and ½ cup water, for 5 minutes, covered. 
  14. Drain. 
  15. Arrange the okra over the meat and cover with sauce and the chopped tomatoes
  16. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  17. Cover with foil, piercing once or twice so that steam can escape. 
  18. Bake in the preheated oven about 40 minutes. 
  19. Serve at once, with plenty of Moroccan Bread.
This Tetuán dish is called “roof tile” style because the okra is arranged like the green roof tiles of many Moroccan buildings. It steams above a sauce so thick a spoon can stand in it, a prominent feature of Tetuanese cooking.

Working time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 3½ pounds shoulder of lamb, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pulverized saffron, mixed with turmeric
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1½ pounds fresh okra (assorted sizes)
  1. Remove the excess fat from the lamb. 
  2. Brown the meat gently in the oil in the casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, saffron, half the parsley, and 1 cup water. 
  3. Cover tightly and cook gently 1½ hours, adding more water when necessary. 
  4. Meanwhile, wash, top, and tail the okra. 
  5. Thread them together to form a necklace as described. Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  6. Transfer the meat to the serving dish. 
  7. Add the okra and remaining parsley to the sauce in the casserole. 
  8. Poach the okra 10 minutes, then remove, discarding the thread. 
  9. Meanwhile, reduce the sauce over high heat to 1¼ cups and pour over the meat. 
  10. Arrange the okra in a pyramid fashion over the meat. 
  11. Make a “tepee” of aluminum foil over the okra, then bake 30 minutes. 
  12. Serve at once.
The recipe for this delicious tagine was collected by a Peace Corps girl, who liked it so much she made up copies and handed them around to all her friends.

Working time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 to 5

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 
  • 1½-inch chunks 
  • 3 tablespoons salad oil or butter 
  • 1 scant cup grated onion 
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron 
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2½ pounds zucchini, preferably small ones 
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons za’atar, or one or a combination of thyme, marjoram, orégano

  1. Trim and discard the excess fat from the lamb, then gently brown on all sides in oil or butter. 
  2. Add the grated onion, spices, salt, garlic, and parsley, tossing to coat the meat. 
  3. Pour in 2 cups water and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 1½ hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bones. 
  5. Add small amounts of water whenever necessary. 
  6. Meanwhile, wash, top, and tail the zucchini and cut into 3/4-inch slices. 
  7. Salt lightly and let drain 20 minutes, then rinse and drain again. 
  8. Sprinkle with the za’atar, finely crushed between the fingertips. 
  9. Set aside. 
  10. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the casserole, arrange in one layer in the ovenproof serving dish, and cover with foil to keep warm. 
  11. Add the zucchini to the sauce in the casserole and cook 10 minutes. 
  12. Remove the partially cooked zucchini slices and, removing the foil, cover the meat attractively with them. 
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  14. By boiling rapidly, uncovered, reduce the sauce to a thick gravy (about 1 cup), pour over meat and zucchini, replace the foil, and bake 20 minutes. 
  15. Serve at once, with a small sprinkling of extra herbs.
Working time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 2¼ hours
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 1½-inch chunks, with bones 
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons salad oil 
  • 2/3 cup grated onion 
  • 12 to 14 red, ripe tomatoes, preferably fresh, peeled, seeded, chopped and drained, 1 cup of the juice reserved 
  • 3/4 pound fresh string beans 
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh green coriander or chopped parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  1. Trim and discard the excess fat from the lamb. 
  2. In the casserole, mix the spices, salt, garlic, and oil. 
  3. Toss with the lamb to coat each piece. 
  4. Stir in the grated onion and the 1 cup fresh tomato juice. 
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, 1½ hours. 
  6. Add water or any leftover tomato juice when necessary to keep the meat moist and avoid scorching. 
  7. Meanwhile, top and tail the string beans. 
  8. Transfer 1 cup of the sauce to the saucepan and simmer the beans until tender, along with 1 tablespoon of the herbs. 
  9. Cover the pan and keep warm.
  10. When the meat is very tender,that is, when it falls easily off the bones, remove and keep warm. 
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes to the sauce in the casserole and cook down quickly over very high heat, mashing the tomatoes to a puree and constantly turning them so they do not scorch as they reduce. 
  12. Cook down to about 1½ cups, adding sugar and cinnamon to taste. 
  13. Return the lamb to the sauce to reheat, and reheat the string beans separately. 
  14. To serve, arrange the string beans around the rim of the serving dish. 
  15. Spoon lamb and tomatoes into the center and sprinkle with the remaining chopped coriander or parsley. 
  16. Serve hot or warm.
Working time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 2½ hours
Serves: 5 to 6

  • 3 pounds shoulder of lamb, cut into 1½-inch chunks 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley 
  • 1/4 cup salad oil or less 
  • 2½ pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
  • 1 pound sweet green peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Trim the lamb of excess fat. 
  2. Place in the casserole, along with a mixture of garlic, saffron, salt, spices, and parsley pounded to a paste in the mortar. 
  3. Pour in the oil to make a sauce and toss with the meat. 
  4. Add 2 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. 
  5. Add the tomatoes and continue simmering for 2 more hours, stirring from time to time while the tomatoes cook down to a thick puree. 
  6. Add the green peppers 10 minutes before serving. 
  7. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve hot or warm.


For the lamb and sauce:
  • 3 pounds rib or shoulder of lamb, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1¼ cups grated onion
  • ¼ cup salad oil, or less
  • 1 rounded teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
For the eggplant garnish:
  • 4 pounds small eggplants
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  1. Trim the lamb of excess fat. 
  2. Place in the casserole with all the ingredients for the sauce except the lemon juice. 
  3. Cover with 4 cups water and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 1½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender, that is, falling off the bones, and the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy. 
  5. Add water, if necessary, during the cooking time. 
  6. Add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
  7. Meanwhile, cut off the stems of the small eggplants. 
  8. Peel the stems and throw these little “nuggets” into the casserole as soon as possible, to cook with the meat. 
  9. Peel the eggplants in alternating stripes lengthwise. 
  10. Cut into ¼-inch thick slices, sprinkle heavily with salt, and let drain in a colander 30 minutes to draw off bitterness. 
  11. Rinse the slices well and pat dry with paper towels.
  12. Heat the oil in the skillet and fry the eggplant slices in batches until they are well browned and crisp on both sides. 
  13. Drain, reserving the oil.
  14. Mash the fried eggplant with the garlic, spices, and salt to taste. 
  15. Reheat the reserved oil and fry the mashed eggplant until crisp and “firm” (about 20 minutes), turning the puree over and over in the oil so that all the water evaporates, and only the oil is left to fry the eggplant, which will become very thick and rich in texture. 
  16. Drain again and fold in the lemon juice.
  17. Arrange the lamb and sauce in the serving dish. 
  18. Spread the eggplant over the meat and serve hot or warm.
Working time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 40 minutes or more
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2½ to 3 pounds beef stew meat, such as shoulder, chuck, or short ribs of beef (with some bone), cut into 1¼-inch chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  cup salad oil
  • ½ teaspoons sharp paprika
  • ¼  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • ¼  cup mixed chopped herbs (parsley and green coriander)
  • 1  pound sweet potatoes
  1. Remove and discard the excess fat from the beef. 
  2. Place the beef in the casserole with the turmeric, salt, pepper, and oil. 
  3. Fry, turning the meat often to lightly brown all sides. 
  4. Cover the casserole tightly and cook 15 minutes, without lifting the cover. 
  5. The meat will cook in its own juices, drawn out by the salt over low heat. 
  6. Stir in the remaining spices, chopped onion, herbs, and very little water. 
  7. Simmer, covered, 1½ to 2 hours over gentle heat, until the meat is very tender (almost falling off the bones). 
  8. Add water whenever necessary to keep the meat from scorching.
  9. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the cauliflower in salted water until nearly tender. 
  10. Drain and set aside until needed.
  11. Peel the tomatoes, halve them crosswise and squeeze out the seeds, then cut into chunks. 
  12. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into ½-inch-thick slices.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  14. Transfer the meat and gravy to the serving dish. 
  15. Place the sweet potatoes over the meat and the tomatoes on top of sweet potatoes. 
  16. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes, until the meat and potatoes are tender. 
  17. Remove the foil cover, raise the oven heat to 450°, and transfer the dish to the upper shelf of the oven. 
  18. Bake until there is a brown spotted crust over the tomatoes. (If there is a great deal of gravy in the pan, pour off into a small saucepan and reduce over high heat to 1 cup before returning it to the dish.) 
  19. Taste for seasoning and serve at once.
Beef tagines can be very good indeed. After hours of slow simmering the meat comes out buttery and soft, and the sauce is full of spicy flavor. The spicing in this dish follows the Beef tagines can be very good indeed. After hours of slow simmering the meat comes out buttery and soft, and the sauce is full of spicy flavor. The spicing in this dish follows the Marrakesh style, while the browning of the meat is Tetuanese.

Working time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours or more
Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2½ to 3 pounds beef stew meat, such as shoulder, chuck, or short ribs of beef (with some bone), cut into 1¼-inch chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  cup salad oil
  • 1½ teaspoons sharp paprika
  • ¼  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ¼  cup mixed chopped herbs (parsley and green coriander)
  • 2½ pounds cauliflowerets
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Remove and discard the excess fat from the beef. 
  2. Place the beef in the casserole with the turmeric, salt, pepper, and oil. 
  3. Fry, turning the meat often to lightly brown all sides. 
  4. Cover the casserole tightly and cook 15 minutes, without lifting the cover. 
  5. The meat will cook in its own juices, drawn out by the salt over low heat. 
  6. Stir in the remaining spices, chopped onion, herbs, and very little water. 
  7. Simmer, covered, 1½ to 2 hours over gentle heat, until the meat is very tender (almost falling off the bones). 
  8. Add water whenever necessary to keep the meat from scorching.
  9. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, cook the cauliflower in salted water until nearly tender. 
  10. Drain and set aside until needed.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  12. Transfer the beef and gravy to the serving dish. 
  13. Place the drained cauliflower over the meat, cover with foil, and bake 15 minutes. 
  14. Raise the oven heat to the highest setting, remove the covering, and transfer the dish to the upper shelf in the oven. 
  15. Bake until the cauliflower is lightly browned. 
  16. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve at once.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mhancha, a traditional Moroccan pastry filled with almonds and perfumed with orange-blossom water, is the perfect way to finish off your Moroccan banquet.

Serves: 6-8
Prep. time: 25 min
Cooking time:25 min

  • 16 sheets filo pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 80 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 g honey, warmed
  • icing sugar, ground cinnamon and white sesame seeds, to sprinkle
Almond filling:
  • 500 g blanched almonds
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange-blossom water (see Note)
  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  2. To make almond filling, place almonds and sugar in a food processor and blend to a paste, add orange-blossom water and process until combined.
  3. Place butter and almond paste in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until slightly darker in colour. 
  4. Remove from heat and cool completely. 
  5. Add egg yolk and cinnamon and mix to a firm paste.
  6. Shape almond filling into 8 x 33 cm-long, 3 cm-thick logs. 
  7. Working with one sheet of pastry at a time, and keeping the others covered with a lightly dampened tea towel, brush lightly with egg yolk mixture and top with another sheet. 
  8. Place 1 almond log in the centre and roll pastry around to enclose. 
  9. Continue process with remaining pastry and logs.
  10. Working with one log at a time, shape into a tight spiral on an oven tray, then continue with remaining logs, pressing ends together, to make one large spiral. B
  11. rush evenly with melted butter and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. 
  12. Brush with honey. 
  13. Cool completely then dust with icing sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Cook's notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

These little cookies must get their name from the “runner” chickens also called fekkas, for they are tough little things with a good taste. They are very popular for tea dunking, doubtless because they can stand the heat.

Working time: 40 minutes
Rising time: 1½ to 2 hours
Baking time: 30 minutes

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 to 3¼ cups pastry flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup sweet butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 scant tablespoon aniseed
  • 1 scant tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted, optional)
  • ¼ cup orange flower water
  1. The day before, soak the yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water until bubbly.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, 1¼ cups sugar, the bubbling yeast, cooled melted butter and spices in the large mixing bowl. Stir in the orange flower water and then enough lukewarm water to form a firm dough. 
  3. Knead well until smooth, then turn out onto a board dusted with more confectioners’ sugar. 
  4. Break into 4 portions. 
  5. Roll each into a ball and cover.
  6. Take one of the balls and shape the dough into a 1-inch-thick cylinder by rolling back and forth with some force. 
  7. The dough will be sticky at first, but after some strong, firm rolling with palms down it will start to stretch as you slide your palms toward the ends to lengthen the mass. 
  8. Stretch and roll the dough until you have a 10-to 12-inch cylinder of even thickness. 
  9. Repeat with the remaining balls. 
  10. Place on the baking sheets, cover with towels, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. 
  11. When doubled, prick each tube with a fork to deflate.
  12. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  13. Bake the tubes 20 minutes, or until barely golden. (They should not be cooked through.) 
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool on racks overnight.
  15. The following day, slice the cylinders crosswise into very thin cookies and arrange flat on ungreased baking sheets. 
  16. Bake in a 350° oven until pale golden brown and dry, about 10 minutes. 
  17. When cool, store in airtight tins.
Ghoriba cookies are based on semolina flour (hard wheat), which has its own marvelous taste and texture. These are lovely light cookies, sugar-dipped, the size of half-dollars.

Working time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 15 to 18 minutes
Makes: 3½ dozen cookies

  • Sweet butter
  • ¼ cup salad oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 22/3 cups semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  1.  Heat 1/4 cup of butter in the oil. When melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the eggs and 12/3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar together until soft and fluffy. 
  3. Add the butter-oil mixture and beat a few seconds longer. 
  4. Using the spatula, fold in the semolina flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. 
  5. Blend well.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  7. Prepare the baking sheets by smearing with dabs of sweet butter. 
  8. Place the remaining 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar in a flat dish. 
  9. Form the cookies by pinching off walnut-sized balls of dough and rolling between your palms until a perfect sphere is formed. (Since the dough is very sticky, it’s a good idea to moisten your hands from time to time.) 
  10. Flatten the sphere slightly, dip one side into powdered sugar, and arrange on a buttered baking sheet.
  11. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes. 
  12. When they are done, the cookies will have expanded and crisscross breaks will appear on their tops. 
  13. Allow to cool and crisp before storing.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

This is a Moroccan spice mixture to add to coffee.

Makes: 1/3 cup

  • 2 whole nutmegs (about 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg) 
  • 4 blades cinnamon (about 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon) 
  • 6 to 8 dried rosebuds 
  • 12 whole cloves (about 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves) 
  • 1/8 teaspoon gum arabic 
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger 
  • 2 pieces of galingale* (about 1/2 teaspoon ground galingale) 
  • 2 allspice berries (about 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice) 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 
  • 3 blades mace (about 1/2 teaspoon ground mace) 
  • 15 white or green cardamom pods 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 
  1. Combine the spices in an electric spice grinder or blender. 
  2. Sieve and bottle carefully to preserve the freshness.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 10 min

  • ½ pound whole blanched almonds 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • Orange blossom water or rosewater 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 cup water
  1. Blend the almonds with the sugar, a dash of perfumed water, and 1 cup water until smooth. 
  2. Pour through a strainer, pressing down hard with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. 
  3. Stir in 1 more cup water and the milk. 
  4. Chill and serve in small glasses.

Widely sold as streed food with Maroccan bread, these spicy lamb kebas are also often served as a little dish. The meat is cut intoo small cubes and marinated before being threaded onto bamboo or metal skewers and grilled.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 10 min

  • 750 gram boneless leg of lamb
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon paprika poeder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Harissa and tomato sauce
  • 2 tomatoes
  • ½ onion, grated to give 2 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water for 2 hours, or use metal skewers.
  2. Do not trim the fat from the lamb.
  3. Cut the meat into 3 cm cubes and put in a bowl.
  4. Add onion, paprika, cumin, parsley, olive oil and generous grind of black peper.
  5. Toss well to coat, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. To make the harissa and tomato sauce, halve the tomatoes horizontally and squeeze out the seeds.
  7. Coarsely grate the tomatoes into a bowl down to the skin, discarding the skin.
  8. In a saucepan, cook the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes, stir in the harissa or cayenne pepper, and add the grated tomatoes, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
  9. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for a further 4 minutes, or until the sauce reaches a thick, pouring consistency. Transfer to a bowl.
  10. Thread the lamb cubes onto the skewers, leaving a little space between the meat cubes.
  11. Heat the barbecue grill to high and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning and brushing with the marinade (Alternatively, cook in a chargrill pan or under the grill).
  12. Serve the kebas with the sauce.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

These cakes are sometimes called "gazelle horns" in English, but why that is remains a mystrey. In Arabic. kaab el ghozal mean "gazelle ankles". This recipee make 60 to 70 horns.

Makes: 60-70
Prep. Time: 20 min
Cooking Time:  10 min

Almond paste
  • 8 cups (1 kg) blanched and peeled almonds
  • 2 cups ( 500 g) superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
  • 1 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4½ cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons orange flower water

  1. Mix the almonds and the sugar, grind in a food mill or a food processor and reduce to a fine powder. 
  2. Mix this powder with the orange flower water and melted butter. 
  3. Separate the mixture into pieces the size of a walnut and roll into batons about 3x1 cm.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together until firm. 
  6. Roll the dough as thin as possible with a rolling pin. It should be almost transparent.
  7. Place the baton of almonds paste on the dough in a line with even spaces beteen each baton.
  8. Fold the dough over to cover all the pieces of almond paste.
  9. Seal by pressing slightly and separate with a pastry cutter.
  10. Bend each piece slightly to form a crescent.
  11. Prick each biscuit with a pin to allow the stream to escape during baking.
  12. Transfer to a baking sheet, brush with melted butter, then bake for approximately 10 minutes at  400 °F (200 °C). The horns should be barely golden.
  13. You can serve them plain or dusted with confectioners' (icing) sugar. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • ½ lb. (about 250 g) fresh or frozen peas 
  • ½ chicken (or 4 pieces of chicken), skin removed 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 lb. (about ½ kg) firm potatoes, peeled and cut into ½" thick slices 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric (or 1/8 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant) 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper 
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional) 
  • ½ cup chicken broth 
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup water 

  1. In a bowl, mix the chicken with onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. 
  2. Be sure the seasoning is distributed evenly. 
  3.  Coat the base of a tagine with a little of the olive oil. 
  4. Distribute the onions across the bottom, then the peas. 
  5. Place the chicken (flesh-side down) in the center. 
  6.  Swirl the ½ cup of water in the bowl used for the chicken to "rinse" the spices from the side of the bowl, and add the water to the tagine. 
  7.  Arrange the potatoes slices around the chicken and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. 
  8. Add the broth, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the chicken and vegetables. 
  9.  Close the tagine and place over medium-low heat. (A diffuser is recommended.) 
  10. Stay patient while the tagine reaches a simmer, it could take some time. 
  11. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat unless the tagine is not simmering after 20 minutes, and even so, increase the heat only very moderately. 
  12.  Once you hear the tagine simmering, leave the tagine to cook undisturbed for about 1 hour 15 minutes. 
  13.  After that time, open the tagine and turn over the chicken. 
  14. Taste the broth, and add salt and pepper if desired. 
  15. Add a little more water if you feel the vegetables have absorbed too much of the cooking liquid. 
  16. Continue cooking the tagine, covered, for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken and vegetables are very tender. 
  17.  Serve the dish right from the tagine, with crusty Moroccan bread for scooping up the chicken, vegetables and sauce.

Couscous is actually a type of pasta, which is cut into tiny little grains. It looks like coarse sand, and cooks very quickly. It goes well with any sort of meat, fish, poultry, or vegetable. It is the staple food of Morocco and much of North Africa, where it is usually steamed in a special steamer which goes right on top of the pot where the stew it will be served with is cooking.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 2 hours

  • 500 g couscous 
  • 500 g lamb 
  • 500 g carrots 
  • 500 g turnips 
  • 250 g pumpkin, cut into ½" thick slices
  • 500 g cabbage 
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into ½" thick slices 
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked 
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp butter  
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 tsp ginger
  1. Place meat, onions, oil and spices in the pot and cook them for a while till the colour of onions turns yellow. 
  2.  Add washed vegetables and water enough to cover the vegetables. (Zucchini and pumpkin may be added late since they don’t take a long time to be cooked) 
  3. Place couscous in a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ litre of salted water and separate the grains by gently rubbing them between your palms and add two tablespoons of oil. 
  4. Place couscous inside the steamer and put it on the boiling pot. 
  5. The steam should escape only from the top. 
  6. As soon as the steam comes out, remove the couscous, put it in a large bowl, and separate the grains again by rubbing them gently between your palms or crushing them with a ladle. 
  7. Sprinkle 2/3 ladles of lightly cold water, separate the grains and let stand 15 minutes. 
  8. Return the couscous in the steamer to steam again for about half an hour. 
  9.  Repeat the above operation, but this time by replacing water with olive oil and 1 tsp of butter, and let couscous on the steamer till the steam comes out again.
  10. Place the couscous in a large dish, form a hole in the centre, and place meat in it then place the vegetables decoratively on the top of couscous. 
  11. Add sauce till it is soaked enough. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

A simple dish which is delicious with bread and a salad.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30-40 min


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 75g (3oz) smen, ghee or butter, melted
  • 3 onions, cut crossways into thin rounds
  • 12 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large frying pan, add the onions and fry gently for 20–30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile break the eggs into a bowl, and add the salt, pepper and remaining butter. 
  3. Whisk well and pour evenly over the onions. 
  4. Cook over a low heat until just set. 
  5. Lift the edge of the omelette from time to time to check when the base is golden. 
  6. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large serving plate and serve. 
This first one incorporates both the olive and the orange. It is simple, refreshing and excellent as a starter or an accompaniment to meat and poultry grills.

Serves: 4-6
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: none

  • 4 large oranges, peeled, white membrane removed 
  • 20–30 black olives, washed and stoned 
  • Juice 1 small lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin 
  • ½ teaspoon chilli pepper or harissa 
  1. Divide the oranges into segments and cut each of them into 3 pieces. 
  2. Place in a salad bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly. 
  3. Refrigerate before serving.
This very simple, crisp Moroccan salad is easy to prepare.

Serves: 6
Prep. Time: 10
Cooking Time: none

  • 1 small cauliflower 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion 
  • 3 tablespoons oil Juice 
  • 1 large lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
  1. Break the cauliflower into small florets, rinse and drain. 
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a salad bowl and mix well. 
  3. Add the cauliflower and toss well. 
  4. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
Serves: 4-6
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 15 min


  • 675g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 5cm (2in) pieces 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • Juice 1 lemon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway 
  • 1  teaspoon coriander 
  • 1½ teaspoons salt 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint (garnish) 
  1. Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. 
  2. Add the pumpkin pieces and simmer for 15 minutes or until soft. 
  3. Strain into a colander. 
  4. When cool enough to handle squeeze the flesh between your hands to extract as much water as possible. 
  5. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork. 
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. 
  7. Spread on a shallow serving dish and garnish with the mint. 
  8. Serve cold
This is a rich and filling soup, with the meat and vegetables finely chopped. Popular throughout Morocco, but especially in the region of the ancient imperial town of Meknes which, during the reign of Sultan Moulay-Ismail, experienced a period of great prosperity.

Serves: 4-6
Prep. Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 70 min

  • 25g  butter 
  • 175g  lamb or beef, cut into 1cm cubes 
  • 175g  carrots, peeled and diced 
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 leek, finely chopped 
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped 
  • 2 small meat bones, optional 
  • 1½ teaspoons salt 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground saffron 
  • 1.8 l water 
  • 675g tomatoes, blanched, seeded and chopped 
  • 175g potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander or parsley 

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the meat and fry for several minutes until evenly browned. 
  2. Add the carrots, turnip, onion, leek and celery and fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the bones, salt, pepper, saffron and water, stir and bring to the boil. 
  4. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes. 
  5. Add the tomatoes, potatoes and coriander or parsley, stir, cover and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. 
  6. Taste to check the seasoning and add a little more water if necessary
Serves: 8
Prep. time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours or longer

  • ½ cup dried chick-peas 
  • 1 pound lamb, trimmed and cut into ½ -inch cubes 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (optional) 
  • 1 tablespoon smen (cooked and salted butter) or 2 tablespoons sweet butter 
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery leaves and ribs 
  • 2 medium yellow onions 
  • ½  cup chopped parsley 
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 
  • Salt 
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils 
  • 8 small white onions 
  • ¼ cup fine soup noodles (optional) 
  • 2 eggs beaten with the juice of ½  lemon 
  • Lemon slices and cinnamon for garnish 
  1. Soak the chick-peas in water to cover overnight. 
  2. Drain and husk if desired. 
  3. Put the lamb, spices, smen, celery, chopped onions, and parsley in the soup pot and cook, stirring, over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. 
  4. Then add the tomatoes and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes longer. 
  5. Salt lightly.  
  6. Meanwhile, wash the lentils in a sieve under running water until the water runs clear. 
  7. Add the lentils to the pot with 2 quarts water. 
  8. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, 11/2 hours. 
  9. Add the small white onions and continue cooking the soup 30 minutes. 
  10. Five minutes before serving add the soup noodles. 
  11. When they are tender, pour the egg and lemon juice mixture into the simmering soup and turn off the heat immediately. 
  12. Stir rapidly to form long egg strands. 
  13. Taste for seasoning and serve with lemon slices and a light dusting of ground cinnamon.
Serves: 6 to 8
Prep. time: 20 min
Cooking time: 2 hours

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon smen (cooked and salted butter) or 2 tablespoons fresh butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ pound shoulder of lamb, in ½-inch cubes wings, backs and giblets of 1 chicken
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 pounds red, ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then pureed
  • ½ cup fine soup noodles
  • 3 tablespoons semolina or all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 cup water 
  • lemon wedges

  1. In a large soup pot, cook the onion, parsley, celery leaves, pepper, and turmeric in the smen for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, then add the cinnamon, lamb and chicken. 
  2. Cook slowly, turning the mixture over and over until golden but not browned (about 15 to 20 minutes). 
  3. Meanwhile, pick over and wash the lentils. In a mortar pound the green coriander leaves with a little salt into a paste or puree the leaves in an electric blender with a spoonful of water. 
  4. Add the lentils, coriander paste, and pureed tomatoes to the pot. 
  5. Cook 15 minutes over low heat, then pour in 11/2 quarts water and cook until the lentils are soft and the soup is well blended. 
  6. Five minutes before serving, salt the soup and add the noodles. 
  7. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the flour-water mixture.
  8. Cook 3 minutes longer, stirring continuously to avoid any flour nuggets forming. 
  9. Serve at once with lemon wedges.
It may seem odd to stuff bread with fat and spices, but the idea is extremely ingenious: the fat runs out through holes pricked in the dough, becomes the medium in which the bread is fried, and leaves behind its flavor and an array of spices and herbs that make it taste strikingly like pizza crust.

Serves: 4
Working time: 40 min
Rising time: 45 min
Cooking time: 20 min

1 package active dry yeast
¼ pound mutton or beef suet (about 1 cup, tightly packed)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼ heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1 dried red chili pepper
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sweet butter, melted


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup lukewarm water. 
  2. Stir to dissolve and let stand in a warm place for ¼ minutes, or until the yeast has become bubbly and doubled in volume. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. 
  4. Chop or grind suet; pound the parsley, onion, and spices in a mortar or chop finely to a paste. 
  5. Mix with the suet and set aside. 
  6. Mix the flour with the salt and make a well in the center. 
  7. Pour in the bubbling yeast and enough lukewarm water to form a ball of dough. (Add more water if the dough seems hard to handle.) 
  8. Knead well until smooth and elastic, about 20 minutes. 
  9. Separate the ball of dough into 4 equal parts. 
  10. Lightly flour a board. Begin patting the first ball of dough down to a disc shape, stretching and flattening it to make a rectangle approximately 8 × 14 inches. 
  11. Spread one-quarter of the filling in the center. 
  12. Fold the right and then the left side of the dough over the filling. 
  13. Press down on this “package” and begin flattening and stretching it (with the filling inside) until it is the same size (8 × 14 inches) as before. 
  14. Repeat the folding, this time right side over center and left side under. 
  15. Repeat with the remaining 3 balls of dough. 
  16. Set aside, covered, in a warm place for 45 minutes. 
  17. Heat the griddle. 
  18. Prick the “packages” with a fork six or seven times on both sides. 
  19. Place on the griddle, they will begin to fry in the fat released from their fillings. 
  20. Fry the “packages” 10 minutes on each side, until crisp. 
  21. Dot each package with a teaspoonful of melted butter before serving.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pulling away pieces of succulent roast lamb and dipping them into cumin and salt is one of Morocco’s great culinary treats. In the home kitchen, it is very difficult to spit-roast a whole lamb, as is done for large Moroccan celebrations. A delicious version can be prepared by steaming a shoulder or leg of lamb in a large pot until the meat falls off the bone, seasoning it with cumin, then roasting the meat in the oven to give it a golden crust. It’s a straightforward method that yields festive results.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 2 hours

  • One 4¼-lb/2-kg bone-in lamb shoulder or leg of lamb 
  • Coarse sea salt 
  • 2 Tbsp butter or smen 
  • Ground cumin for rubbing and dipping 
  1. Fill a large pot fitted with a steamer basket or a couscoussier with water to just below the steamer basket. 
  2. Cut the lamb through the bone, but no further, in order to fit it into the steamer basket. 
  3. Rub the lamb with salt and place in the basket. 
  4. Cover and steam until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, 1½ hours. 
  5. Check occasionally to make sure that the pot has enough water and doesn’t go dry. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C. 
  7. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan. 
  8. Rub with the butter and a generous amount of cumin and salt. 
  9. Roast until deeply golden, about 20 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. 
  10. The meat should come away easily with a fork. 
  11. Serve on a platter along with individual small dishes of cumin and salt for dipping the lamb.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brochettes de Kefta is a Maroccan recipe for a kebab that is made out of ground meat.

Serves: 6
Prep. Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 10-15 min

  • 1½ lb/680 g ground beef or lamb or a mix of the two
  • 1 medium red onion, finely grated 
  • ¼ cup/10 g loosely packed finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • ¼ cup/10 g loosely packed finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint (optional) 
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp ground mace or 1⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes 
  • Salt 
  • Olive oil

  1. In a large mixing bowl, blend the meat, onion, parsley, cilantro, mint (if using), paprika, cumin, cinnamon, mace, and cayenne. 
  2. Season with salt. 
  3. Unless the meat is quite fatty, work in a few drops of olive oil. 
  4. Take an egg-size handful of the mixture and press it around the middle of a skewer. 
  5. Place on a clean, flat work surface and roll it lightly with the palms of your hands to form an even “sausage” 6 to 8 in/15 to 20 cm long. 
  6. Pinch down both ends around the skewer. 
  7. Gently set on a platter, and repeat with the remaining mixture. 
  8. If using a grill pan or griddle, lightly oil and heat over high heat. 
  9. If using a barbecue, prepare a fire and heat until the coals are glowing. 
  10. If using a broiler, preheat the broiler. 
  11. Cook the brochettes, nudging them from time to time with the help of a spatula in order to cook evenly on all sides, until the meat is cooked through and firm to touch, about 10 minutes. 
  12. Serve hot.

Moroccan bread is a main element which is served with most dishes. It is essential and delicious. This recipe is also called: koubz, khubz or home bread.

Makes 16
Prep. Time: 60 min
Cooking Time: 12 min

  • 2½ cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon easter sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1x 7g sachet yeast
  • 1¼ cups tepid water
  • ½ teaspoon ground weet paprika
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2.  Combine ½ cup flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water in bowl. 
  3. Stand covered in a warm place until foaming. 
  4. Add rest of flour, paprika and corn meal into bowl, add oil. 
  5. Stir in yeast mixture. 
  6. Mix to firm dough. 
  7. Stand covered in a warm place 20 minutes. 
  8. Divide into sixteen, roll into balls, flatted into rounds. 
  9. Place a greased baking tray. 
  10. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sesams seeds. 
  11. Stand, covered until puffed. 
  12. Bake 12 minitues.
A hearty soup packed with Moroccan flavours it will definitely be a staple this winter.

Serves: 4
Prep. Time: none
Cooking Time: 45-50 min

  • 1 chicken 
  • 4 cups of chicken stock, more if desired
  • 4 hard cooked egg yolks 
  • 3 tbsps. fresh cream 
  • 1 tbsps. slivered almonds 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large soup pot, boil the chicken broth. 
  2. Mix the chicken with the egg yolks. 
  3. Add the cream and season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Sprinkle with almonds. 
  6. Serve hot soup with almonds